Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by forehand_dude, Jan 2, 2012.
Yes, trying to find time to train for the 40's Nationals now.
I appreciate that all GOAT contenders have various points for and against but I don't understand why this post is aimed directly at a Federer comparison and to much lesser extent a Nadal comparison when the thread is about Borg being 'The GOAT'. If one were to be fair in making a things to consider post then they would do comparisons against other GOAT candidates such as Sampras, Laver, Rosewall, Pancho or whoever else might be a GOAT candidate and then not just to mention the things which put one player in a positive light over another but to view all aspects from all directions.
See the earlier post in the thread Nathanial_Near. I agree with you, it's not only Federer, but Nadal, Sampras, Laver, Gonzalez, Borg, and you can definitely put others into the mix as well, such as Connors, McEnroe, etc..that post was a response to the one above, that had a particular emphasis on Federer and Borg.
What great photos, Borg Nº1.Loved that time of SI and TM.
Borg needed to win the USOpen to be considered GOAT.
Who is does your vote go to if you were to pick one player? I prefer a tier system, but I'll take Borg out of a "first tier" of Laver, Borg, Sampras, and Federer. I think Gonzalez is way up there too, with players like, Connors, and McEnroe further behind and Nadal gaining. You can make viable arguments for many, each with pluses and minuses.
I don't really think Connors, Lendl, McEnroe or Nadal (yet) deserve a first tier standing. Out of Gonzales, Rosewall, Laver, Borg, Sampras and Federer I actually find that Borg has the weakest claim for the top tier due to leaving the sport so early, it's a much larger negative than any of the negatives from the other players. Also his grass play doesn''t impress me as much as the likes of Becker, McEnroe, Federer and especially Sampras and certainly not Laver so even though he got 5 straight Wimbledon titles I don't rate him as a better grass court player than those guys to be honest.
However, his sheer body of work in such a short space of time and period of extended brilliantly shining dominance puts him on a rough par with similar periods of sustained brilliance which were shown by Laver and Federer and perhaps Rosewall -- Sampras loses out here. Borg also showed perhaps the greatest dominance on one surface out of the tier 1 greats tied with Sampras on grass perhaps.
Overall as things stand given extended peak, longevity and overall accomplishments, my ordering in tier 1 might go something like:
Laver, Federer/Rosewall, Borg/Gonzales/Sampras.
Out of players I saw a lot of throughout my natural life rather than having to research and download matches of:
Federer, Sampras, .. Nadal (close to tier 1 and will get there), .. Agassi (tier 2), .... Djokovic (tier 3, will get to tier 2).
As I said before, I would personally put Borg and Sampras in tier 2, but at the very top of tier 2, with Nadal just behind them. I would also add Tilden to tier 1, however, which would give me (in chronological order): Tilden, Gonzales, Laver, Rosewall, Federer for tier 1 (with Rosewall probably the 'weakest' of the five, although that's debatable), and Borg, Sampras, Nadal at the top of tier 2.
Interesting analysis. I consider Borg more impressive at Wimbledon than either Becker or McEnroe, but I understand your opinion. So much depends on how you weight criterion, which introduces subjectivity. For me, peak level of play trumps longevity somewhat, but at the same time, I agree that longevity is an important consideration (players like Tilden, Gonzalez, Rosewall, and Connors have that in their favor). I also would not put Connors, McEnroe, or Nadal in the first tier. I have Borg, Laver, Sampras, and Federer in the first tier. I think Gonzalez is right there as well.
Could somebody please verify/justify/argue/whatever the part in bold, please?
Taking the AO entirely off the table during Borg's career, given the history there, you could add: (1) Borg's 1975 YEC title (WCT-Dallas tourney played in 1976) (2) The Masters YEC won in Jan. 80 and (3) Masters YEC won in Jan. 81 if you want to take that approach. That would add on 3 more to his total.
Umm Borg didn't win the USO. That's a big hole in his resume which should automatically relegate him to tier 2 in the all-time list.
Federer-head to head versus rival..
Sampras-play on clay, FO resume...
Are they "automatically" relegated to tier 2 in your opinion? I don't think so..it all depends on how you weight your criterion.
LMAO how predictable..There's simply no excuse for not winning a major, it's a massive hole in the GOAT debate. It's not as if Borg had a massive matchup issue in the USO?
Sampras was a mug on clay, the guy was losing to nobodies and didn't even make a RG final. Again a big hole in his resume.
As far as the Federer- Nadal rivalry goes, anyone with technical acumen knows it's a massive matchup issue, so bringing it up is utterly futile. And as if that's not enough, Federer leads the H2H on non-clay surfaces.
I guess we should call Davydenko, Hrbaty as GOAT then since they have a positive H2H against Nadal. :lol:
I understand the Federer-Nadal rivalry fully. I've been watching tennis a very long time, from the time of Borg all the way down to just last week (AO prep). I do agree that Nadal presents a matchup problem for Federer (FH to BH for one thing), in some ways like McEnroe presented a matchup problem for Borg (wide lefty serve, serve and volley dynamics especially back then..). As to Borg though, he was 7-7 overall against McEnroe, with only matches on fast surfaces and no clay matches. He also had big wins at the YEC in both Jan. 80 and Jan. 81. As to Sampras, despite his "hole in the resume", I'd still put him in the top tier, given how dominant he was on fast surfaces. As to Davydenko, I would make a distinction between simply a "rival" and a "major rival".
Why bring up the H2H in the first place then? Atleast,not mention it as a hole in Fed's impeccable resume. Leave that to the *********.
I'm sure it wasn't as bad for Borg as it was for Federer getting his single handed BH pummelled into submission by Nadal's unheard of RPM FH on clay. The SH BH by default can't handle high topspin with ease, let alone from a lefthander who's produced the highest topspin RPM in tennis history.
Borg lost to Connors twice as well,what's the excuse here?.
And YEC =/= USO.
It's Federer's bad luck that his worst matchup was his major rival as opposed to Davy being Nadal's.(Besides, Roddick was Federer's major rival in his prime whom Fed completely owned.). That's Nadal's good fortune more than anything else.
As to Connors, note that Borg dominated Connors from about 1978. In 75-76 Borg was 19-20, and not the player he would become in later years. Even at the '78 US Open final (hard court) he should have perhaps not even played that match, but he did, having taking pain injections in his right hand soon before that final. He destroyed Connors in the '78 Wimbledon final and consistently from 1979-1981.
Federer has a impressive resume, no doubt about it, but it's not perfect. Impeccable is a subjective term. His record is certainly not faultless. Plus, your earlier post had a heavy emphasis on head to head record. You may favor Federer over say Nadal, but his record versus Nadal can't be dismissed that easily. As I've stated, every great player has pluses and minuses and this entire "greatest tennis player" debate necessarily involves both subjective and objective criterion and it's necessarily so.
From 2004-2007 widely regarded as Federer's prime,Nadal only beat him in RG(slam level). I rest my case.
Ok, so his record is not "impeccable", agreed? Some fans support Federer, others Sampras, others Laver, others Borg, Gonzalez, etc..but to think that any one player has a perfect record is just not accurate.
Nadal beat Federer even on hard court when Nadal was young. Here's the head to head.
Versus Roger FEDERER (SUI)
Year Tournament Round Surface Winner Score
2004 Miami 32 Hard (O) R.NADAL 6-3 6-3
2005 Miami FR Hard (O) R.FEDERER 6-2 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 3-6 1-6
2005 French Open SF Clay (O) R.NADAL 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3
2006 Dubai FR Hard (O) R.NADAL 2-6 6-4 6-4
2006 Monte Carlo FR Clay (O) R.NADAL 6-2 6-7(2) 6-3 7-6(5)
2006 Rome FR Clay (O) R.NADAL 6-7(0) 7-6(5) 6-4 2-6 7-6(5)
2006 French Open FR Clay (O) R.NADAL 1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6(4)
2006 Wimbledon FR Grass (O) R.FEDERER 0-6 6-7(5) 7-6(2) 3-6
2006 Tennis Masters Cup SF Hard (I) R.FEDERER 4-6 5-7
2007 Monte Carlo FR Clay (O) R.NADAL 6-4 6-4
2007 Hamburg FR Clay (O) R.FEDERER 6-2 2-6 0-6
2007 French Open FR Clay (O) R.NADAL 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4
2007 Wimbledon FR Grass (O) R.FEDERER 6-7(7) 6-4 6-7(3) 6-2 2-6
2007 Tennis Masters Cup SF Hard (I) R.FEDERER 4-6 1-6
2008 Monte Carlo FR Clay (O) R.NADAL 7-5 7-5
2008 Hamburg FR Clay (O) R.NADAL 7-5 6-7(3) 6-3
2008 French Open FR Clay (O) R.NADAL 6-1 6-3 6-0
2008 Wimbledon FR Grass (O) R.NADAL 6-4 6-4 6-7(5) 6-7(8) 9-7
2009 Australian Open FR Hard (O) R.NADAL 7-5 3-6 7-6(3) 3-6 6-2
2009 Madrid FR Clay (O) R.FEDERER 4-6 4-6
2010 Madrid FR Clay (O) R.NADAL 6-4 7-6(5)
2010 ATP World Tour Finals FR Hard (I) R.FEDERER 3-6 6-3 1-6
2011 Miami SF Hard (O) R.NADAL 6-3 6-2
2011 Madrid SF Clay (O) R.NADAL 5-7 6-1 6-3
2011 French Open FR Clay (O) R.NADAL 7-5 7-6(3) 5-7 6-1
2011 ATP World Tour Finals Hard (I) R.FEDERER 3-6 0-6
So you explain Federer's most substantial Achilles heel in the GOAT debate as simply bad luck How lame!
Bad match ups certainly have an outcome on many players careers. However, for you to subtlety demerit Nadal as only a bad match up is quite ludicrous. Its not as if he is only good at beating Federer! He's a 10 time slam winner, single's gold medalist, winningest master's series player, and multiple Davis Cup winner!!!
What other GOAT candidate was relatively dominated by his nearest rival (who is also a GOAT candidate or at least one of the best players of the Open Era)? !!!
In my previous post, I mentioned slam-level,thanks for ignoring that. Slams separate the men from the boys and in Federer's prime namely 2004-2007, Nadal only beat him at RG.
Well let me put it this way. Federer's resume is the closest to perfect and closest to complete than any other player in tennis history.
That's opinion, not a fact.
That's a better way to put it monfed, though I disagree with him as being labeled the "greatest ever". On the resume though, I'd take Laver (esp. '62, '69 and the years in between) over Federer's resume, strictly looking at his body of work so to speak, or perhaps even Gonzalez (look at what he did in the 50's especially). So, I wouldn't say his resume is the most complete either. As to Laver and Sampras, they have some points that you could argue in their favor, and conversely against both Borg and Federer. For example, dominance over their closest rivals.
WOW,thanks for taking my post completely out of context.
Tennis is all about matchups and a bad matchup is just that , a bad matchup. I'm not aware of a single player in tennis who overcame his bad matchup. Heck, playing Nadal on clay for Federer is a nightmare matchup for him.
Federer fans complained very little about Safin beating Federer at AO 05, Delpotro USO 09 , Kuerten RG 04, as opposed to Nadal beating Federer,ever wondered why? It's because they beat Federer with their own game, unlike Nadal who abuses his matchup advantage(BH abuse) to the hilt.
Djokovic who isn't even a GOAT contender yet is dominating Nadal!!!
Slightly hard to judge Roger and Rafa at the moment, because their careers aren't yet over and more accolades may yet be added to their bodies of work, especially Rafa's.
If Roger had retired after winning RG in 2009, one could already handsomely consider him to be the greatest in history and he was certainly already established as a tier 1 great with 14 Majors, 4 YEC's and the Career Slam. Since then though he has continued going and so who knows what more he may add to his legacy and on the whole further strengthens his case. He might even add another Major or 2 and 10 or so more career titles or he may add almost nothing other than a continuous streak of unadvantageous results against the other top players.
This conundrum in short is why as much as I admire Borg, I can't place him at the very top, because he stopped his career far shorter than it could have gone, and who knows what would have happened had he carried on. He might have been owned by McEnroe, he might have gone on to win 20 Majors. Unfortunately we can only judge What Borg did up until the age of 26 or so when he cut his career short, where in different circumstances he could have easily carried on, such as having more malleable management in charge of the tour who wouldn't further sour Borg's state of mind and usher him into an early retirement.
So when I think of Borg, I imagine judging Nadal right now if he were to suddenly feel burnout and lose 1 or 2 more times to Djokovic in Slam finals and call it a day this year rather than if he were to carry on until his body literally found it hard to sustain a high level of performance. Or, I imagine judging Roger if he had retired in the middle of 2009 before winning RG or judging Sampras by imagining him having retired after winning Wimbledon in 1999, feeling he's done everything that's really required of him in the sport. Long story short, I find it hard to fully and properly evaluate Borg, I just feel we missed out on what would have been an even more storied and incredulous career.
Rafa is still only 25 and providing he stays fresh for the challenge I see no reason why he can't add very substantial amounts to his current resume.
Pray tell,whose is the most complete resume?
I mean look at Federer's slam record -
AO - 5 finals, won 4
RG - 5 finals, won 1(lost 4 thanks to Nadal, the worst possible matchup who he never had a shot against in the first place.)
WB- 7 finals , won 6
USO - 6 finals, won 5.
How is this not complete? Without Nadal, Federer would've made a mockery out of tennis by winning 2 consecutive calendar slams in 06 and 07.
I agree with much of what you are saying Nathaniel_Near. One thing I would posit though is what actually happened with the Tour in 1981-1983 in particular (ATP/WCT split, new rules and insistence on Borg playing the qualifiers at FO and Wimbledon if he wanted to cut his non "official" schedule back). No player went through what Borg did from about 1973-1981, without all the "insulation" available to players today. Plus, look at his "unofficial" schedule. He did some yeoman's work before he decided that he just wouldn't simply comply with the demands of Tour officials. Yet, I don't think he'd change anything about the career he had and is basically considered a big reason for why the Game is the way it is today.
I do think that Federer can win more majors. The same applies to Nadal. I think that ultimately Nadal will also be considered in that first tier. As to Federer and his place in the Game after the '09 FO, I don't think that if he had retired back then that this debate would somehow not have continued. I mean, look at this cover and then the Tennis magazine cover with Borg from a few posts back. Great players come along once in a long while (perhaps 1-2 in each era) and all time greats are few and far between. In recent times, we've had Federer, Nadal, and now Djokovic has emerged. Yet, the debate will continue, even when Federer and Nadal are long gone. In 10-20 years, folks will undoubtedly talk about how certain players are even greater than Federer. The same rules will apply though in the discussion. Subjectivity can simply never be fully removed when you are dealing with different eras and different conditions. Yet, for us tennis fans, that's part of the fun of the discussion.
Rod Laver in my book.
Very weak reply...
Many players succeeded in overcoming their 'bad match up', at least to a greater extent than Federer has with Nadal. Agassi/Sampras for example.
And you Federer fans hardly complained about Safin or Delpo because those were one-offs. If either had beaten Federer multiple and many times in slam finals, you all would hate them just as much as you all hate Nadal! Also, Nadal does not change his game to beat Federer, he loves the cross-court lefty forehand to a righty's backhand! He plays that way against every one, which is one of the reasons besides his general reduced level of offense in 2011, he had such trouble with Nole last year. Nole's backhand side is just too good for the pattern that Nadal prefers.
Nole has dominated Nadal for one year (last year), and he is not a GOAT contender yet - so your rebuttal is meaningless to the scenario posed.
If you're alluding to Laver's calendar slam of 69 as a yardstick of completeness then one can point out that it was played on 2 surfaces compared to 3 in the current era.
Anyway, I won't comment further on Laver since all I've seen of him are youtube vids and somehow he didn't look very impressive.
Wood racquets my friend. Venus Williams can serve over 120 mph with today's racquets and hit her groundies with great power. You have to adjust for the racquet and overall equipment. I think Rod can hit the ball a lot harder than Venus. Venus might look more impressive than Federer, Djokovic and Nadal if they used small wood racquets and she used the current racquets.
Laver also won Pro Majors on wood surfaces and there were different types of grass surfaces. Not all grass is the same.
Read about his record from 1962-1969 as just a starter. His overall record is stunning. Plus, he won on all types of surfaces, including clay, indoors, grass, and hard courts and he did great against rivals from his time. To me, this kind of play is impressive. Imagine if they had the Tennis Channel back then, then we all may have some different opinions. Plus, we are not even considering the changed equipment and some of how difficult it could be to play with heavy wood frames (even though when you hit the ball just right/flush, you can get some great results).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43csIDKmkMk (Krosero had a better clip up on this match, but I don't find it)..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs (imagine trying to pull those shots off! There's some serious court geometry, skill, etc..involved here)
You mean like how Sampras overcame Krajicek? Or how Nadal overcame Davydenko on HC? Like how Agassi overcame Sampras on grass? Please.
Essentially, you're claiming that you know what I and a million other Fedfans think. Tricky
Actually he doesn't play that way against Davydenko,Nalbandian,Gasquet. I wonder why.
He goes for Nole's FH side too,since he can't break down his solid DH BH but that fails too since Nole is solid off both wings and can't be grinded down.
Which is why Nole's dominance over Nadal looks even worse(which is what I said in my previous post if you cared to read.).
Quoted for truth
Of course they didn't, since those players didn't dominate Fed. Plus, once again, a Federer fan implies there's something somehow morally wrong or unfair about Rafa beating Fed... sorry but I find it either really childish or arrogant.
Rafa was dominating Fed since he was way before his prime and Fererer was right in his (for what is worth, anyway ).
Nadal was there however... and Federer didn't won those calendar slams...
Actually, it is a fact. List all of your criteria for GOAT-hood, and if the one with the perfect resume is the one who tops in all of those categories, you'll find that Federer is as close to perfect as it exists today.
How are Federer's career accomplishments superior to Laver's ? Look at total titles won, as just as one indication. Then you have the CYGS topic. So, I would disagree that Federer's resume is as close to perfect as exists today. That distinction, which is very subjective, could just as easily belong to the Rocket, Rod Laver.
According to Wikipedia, Laver has 11 slams. That puts him behind Federer by 5 slams which is a chasm and Federer isn't even done yet.
(Laver "Rushing the Immortals"..the more things change, the more they stay the same.."
Be very careful just going with a Wiki "fact" though. Use Wiki as a guide, not gospel. Laver won a lot more than is even considered by many "in the know". Read about 1962-1969 in particular and you'll better understand just how great and accomplished he is. Plus, look at how many total majors Federer has played to get those 16 total. He's played in FAR total more than say Borg, at 4 every year and many early years when he was struggling mightily. I do think he could win 1 more and perhaps more than that though. We'll see how that plays out. If you just want to count "majors", well Emerson has 12. Is he "greater" than either Borg or Laver?
Info from that page on Laver before 1969:
What's up Borg? Pjonesy here, long time no post. Leave it to a veteran like Borgnumberone to put things into perspective. Borg had a tremendous career and in his prime was as cool a competitor the game had ever seen. But i put him in what i call a revolutionary player category. Although Connors was already tearing the courts up from the baseline, Borg's heavy topspin, 2HBH and patience developed a revolutionary game style that is still connected to the modern game. IMO, that is his greatest legacy. Borg was also the coolest tennis player ever. The only man in any sport that could pull off wearing those short shorts of the 70s and 80s, while still making it look cool. Talk about the elegance of Federer on and off the court all you want, Borg in the FILA jacket and never looking hurried on the tennis court sums it up. Yeah, if I was a pro tennis player, I would want Federer's forehand. But i would want to look and move like Borg!
Like you said, its difficult to compare generations without being subjective.
I don't believe in the existence of the GOAT. It's merely a legend, like Bigfoot. Some superlatives?
Greatest Men's Season-Laver '69, McEnroe '84 and Djokovic '11.
Greatest Clay Courter-Nadal and Borg.
Greatest Fast Court Player-Sampras
And on and on...............................
One thing that does stand out for me. Borg was a tremendous competitor, but he pressed against McEnroe. The only players I have ever seen, that never seemed to choke, were Connors and Evert. Obviously, Connors was a much bigger risk taker. But they both seemed to relish the tight matches and their opponents knew they were in for a long day. I'm not saying that they couldn't be outhit or outplayed. It just didn't seem like they ever really gave matches away or got so nervous that they couldn't go for their shots. I think that is the greatest characteristic of the GOAT. The ability to not allow pressure, expectations or situation to affect your ability to play the game at your highest level.
Sure, but that doesn't change the fact that Federer has a higher slam count than Laver. 5 more which is a chasm. And I'm not aware of any tournament which is more important to a tennis player than a GS.
This particular trivia points more to Federer's phenomenal consistency more than anything. A player is remembered by how many slams he won, not the amount of finals he made.
It's not Federer's fault that Borg prematurely pulled the plug on his career. And it's more a knock on Borg's longevity more than anything that he retired early.
I don't think you realize just how many matches Laver played, nor how many Borg played in (all before 1982, especially the unofficial schedule). Of course, none of this is Federer's "fault", who said it was? Federer has been very consistent. No doubt about it, but so were Rosewall, Gonzalez and Connors over decades. On the Borg issue, the Tour officials made some horrible decisions, but it played out the way it did. He also was getting burned out with the crush of fans/media following him everywhere before the days of cushioned player's lounges everywhere. Borg is very content with his place in the Game, forever among the pantheon of greats. He doesn't need me to brag about him for that, but I'll do it anyway at every opportunity, largely because he is too modest about his own accomplishments too even address all the folks that know very little about his impact on tennis.
if you want to cherry-pick, you could also look at # grand slams. It could very well belong to Laver, no doubt about it. But it certainly won't belong to Borg, Sampras, et. al. So can we agree (as someone already noted) that Laver & Federer in tier 1, Sampras, Borg at the very top of tier 2, followed by Nadal?
the argument that Borg played lot less slams to get to 11 as evidence of his superiority, is terribly stupid, to say the least. He quit early, and that's his fault, no one else's. In 16 slams played from 2004 - 2007, Federer won 11. that's 11/16. go figure!
Laver fans pointed out that Laver won 199 titles, but historians don't consider him holding the record for most single title winners. That record belongs to Jimmy Connors. Why is that? I believe most of Laver's win are not comparable to the open era since the standard is much higher and plus, most tournaments today required to win at least 4 or more matches to win one event.
Anyone in their right mind knows that it's IMPOSSIBLE just to reach 199 single finals, let alone winning that much.
Top 10 players with most single titles:
1. Jimmy Connors 1972–1996 United States 109
2. Ivan Lendl 1978–1994 Czechoslovakia 94
3. John McEnroe 1978–2006 United States 77
4. Roger Federer 1998– Switzerland 70
5. Pete Sampras 1988–2002 United States 64
6. Björn Borg 1973–1993 Sweden 63
7. Guillermo Vilas 1969–1992 Argentina 62
8. Andre Agassi 1986–2006 United States 60
9. Ilie Năstase 1969–1985 Romania 57
10. Boris Becker 1984–1999 Germany 49
So I guess anything prior to 1968 doesn't count. There was no World Series Winner in 1967. The Green Bay Packers didn't win the first few Super Bowls. Laver didn't win the Grand Slam and over 20 tournaments in 1962. I think Laver won about 60 or 70 during the Open Era alone and he was to turn 30 in 1968, the start of the Open Era. Records were very badly kept in the early days of the Open Era.
History is history and just because the official books don't have it doesn't mean it's not true.
Are people going to say Federer's, Nadal's and Djokovic's accomplishments didn't count 40 years from now because the level of play is supposed to be better? It makes no sense.
And it's not impossible to win 199 tournaments. It's been done. Connors and Lendl incidentally won about 140 tournaments. The guys in the past play a lot more. You play more and you can win more
There is not guarantee that Borg would have won another slam. McEnroe had his best year in '84 and then never won another slam. They both dropped dramatically once burn out hit. Borg quit and Mc took time off to get married and try recreational drugs (or so the rumor goes).
I was a big Borg fan and he was great. As someone said above, he was the first bit time player that played the "modern game". You could put a side by side analysis of his forehand beside the forehands of today and they would be very, very similar - open stance, loose grip, WW follow-thru, loads of top were all in Borg stroke. His 2 hbh would also be a fit with today's game but he used a little more right hand dominate technique. Today, left hand dominate seems to be the norm for right handed player.
Fed is the greatest until someone ties or succeeds 16 slams. They all play for the big 4 titles. Look at the emotions when they win. They are happy when they win any tournament. They are very happy when they win a Masters tournament. They are overwhelmed with happiness when they win a major. The majors mean the most to them and that's how you measure GOATiness.
Well, we just have to disagree. I can't see any player can managed to win 199 titles, no matter how fit or how much he take care of his body. There's too many matches to play and more chances to in getting eliminated, not to mention the game is more physically demanding. Even if a player in his entire career only chooses to play the weakest event(ATP250) where the draw is small and hardly any top players join, it's still hard to win 199 titles.
As someone who is and was a great admirer of Laver, Borg and Federer, could I ask that we avoid misleading comparisons? GOAT discussions can be fun, but they tend to degenerate into silliness when posters fail to put achievements into context. For example:
1. The number of majors won is not an especially reliable indicator when comparing players across generations. Professionals (such as Laver between the ages of 24 and 29), were barred from playing in the official majors. In addition, for much of the 1970's and 1980's most of the leading players did not play in the Australian Open.
2. Pro majors cannot be considered the equivalent of Open era majors, for reasons best explained by John 123 in his thread in the Former Pro Players forum.
3. The number of titles won is not a good indicator either. No contemporary player is going to come anywhere close to Laver/Rosewall/Connors numbers in this respect. This is partly because players enter fewer tournaments these days, but also (and more importantly, in my view) because ALL the leading players enter the same tournaments (basing their calendar on the 4 majors, 9 Masters events and the YEC). There is no division between amateur and pro ranks, no rival pro tours, no boycotts, no small "invitational events." As another recent thread in the Former Pro Player forum documented, today's leading players have to face each other far more often than they did in the past.
Federer's 70 titles include 16 majors, 18 Masters titles and 6 YEC's - all "big" events in which virtually every leading player who was fit participated. The same applies to the 10 majors, 1 Olympic gold medal and 19 Masters titles included in Nadal's total of 46 titles. Some posters seem to believe that today's players have it easy compared to their predecessors. This is true in some respects, but most emphatically not so in others. It would be pointless to praise or blame players from any generation for things over which they have no control.
4. All players may have their resume gaps, but these gaps are by no means equal in significance. Federer's losing record against Nadal cannot be compared to Borg's failure to win the U.S. Open or Sampras's inability to win at Roland Garros. Here's a simple thought experiment. Suppose that Federer was no better a clay courter than Sampras. In that case he would not have played more than half of his matches against Nadal (losing four French Open and five Masters finals) on his weakest surface. The H2H record would have been shifted significantly in his favor, even though he would have been a less versatile player who would have achieved considerably less.
The H2H criterion produces perverse and counterintuitive results, since it suggests that Federer would be a greater player by being less accomplished on clay. But even apart from this I don't know a single player who would trade a U.S. Open or French Open title for a positive record against one particular rival. By and large the only people who bring this up are Nadal fans and supporters of other GOAT candidates.
5. If pushed I would say that Laver probably had the best resume of any Open era player. With respect to the original question, much as I admired Borg I can't see a strong case for nominating him as the GOAT, simply because I don't see any grounds for ranking him ahead of Laver.
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